The Constitutional Verdict for Bajrush Xhemajli

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On February 24, 2013, “Justice in Kosovo” discussed the case of Bajrush Xhemajli.

Among the questions discussed were: Which of the judges of Constitutional Court were against returning the case on trial? Why are members of the Kosovo Judicial Council dissatisfied with the decision of Constitutional Court for Xhemajli’s case? Has this judicial case created a dangerous precedent? Who says that the Constitutional Court is transformed into a fourth instance court?

The decision to return to Bajrush Xhemajli’s case is involving the Constitutional Court and the Kosovo Judicial Council. Supreme Judge, Valdete Daka said: “The Supreme Court is the final court and the Supreme Court decisions are final, but as we can see the Constitutional Court is taking the role of the fourth instance.”

Four years ago, in the Prishtina-Ferizaj highway, Bajrush Xhemajli, former Mayor of Ferizaj was accused of causing a fatal car accident where Labinot Rrustemi was found dead. The accident was investigated by District Prosecution in Prishtina. Expert Ylli Koshi concluded that Xhemajli’s car caused the accident because he was speeding. Xhemajli, who was also injured during the accident, decided to defend himself in silence. The court ruled that Xhemajli was found guilty, and he was sentenced to two years and six months in prison. Xhemajli and his defendant were dissatisfied with this decision and they asked to involve a freelance expert, but the District Court denied their request.

Xhemajli also resigned from his position as mayor because according to the law of local self-governance, sentenced individuals cannot govern the municipality.

In addition, Xhemajli was sentenced from the highest court, but he did not suffer the punishment. Xhemajli made a third appeal in the Constitutional Court and they accepted his appeal. His trial was suspended because the constitutional law claimed that there were not enough experts to investigate the case.

The victim’s father however was dissatisfied with the court’s decision: “I was left speechless when I saw in the newspaper that the constitutional court freed the Mayor of Ferizaj, with the possibility of retrial in the Supreme Court,” said Rustemi.

The compiler of the appeal in the Constitutional Court, lawyer Korab Sejdiu explained that Xhemajli appealed to the Constitutional Court not to contest the expertise, but to request for the right to engage in an expert in order for the parties to be equal.  These denials have led the Constitutional Court and Xhemajli to review the case.